Portal:History of Imperial China

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History of Imperial China

The history of Imperial China spans from the beginning of the Qin dynasty in 221 BC to the end of the Qing dynasty and the formation of the Republic of China in 1912 AD.

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The Ming Dynasty Tombs located near Beijing.
The Ming Dynasty (Chinese: 明朝; pinyin: Míng Cháo), or Empire of the Great Ming (simplified Chinese: 大明国; traditional Chinese: 大明國; pinyin: Dà Míng Guó), was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Hans (the main Chinese ethnic group), before falling to the rebellion led in part by Li Zicheng and soon after replaced by the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty. Although the Ming capital Beijing fell in 1644, remnants of the Ming throne and power (collectively called the Southern Ming) survived until 1662.

Ming rule saw the construction of a vast navy and a standing army of 1,000,000 troops, although private maritime trade and official tribute missions from China had taken place in previous dynasties, the tributary fleet under the Muslim eunuch admiral Zheng He in the 15th century surpassed all others in sheer size. There were enormous projects of construction, including the restoration of the Grand Canal and the Great Wall and the establishment of the Forbidden City in Beijing during the first quarter of the 15th century. Estimates for the population in the late Ming era vary from 160 to 200 million.(more...)

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Dufu.jpg
Du Fu (Chinese: 杜甫; pinyin: Dù Fǔ; Wade–Giles: Tu Fu, 712770) was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. Along with Li Bai (Li Po), he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets, his own greatest ambition was to help his country by becoming a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like the whole country, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and the last 15 years of his life were a time of almost constant unrest.

Initially little known, his works came to be hugely influential in both Chinese and Japanese culture. Of his poetic writing, nearly fifteen hundred poems written by Du Fu have been handed down over the ages, he has been called Poet-Historian and the Poet-Sage by Chinese critics, while the range of his work has allowed him to be introduced to Western readers as "the Chinese Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Wordsworth, Béranger, Hugo or Baudelaire". (read more...)

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Portrait of Chicasei Goyô (Wu Yong) (1827–1830).jpg

An 1830 painting of Wu Yong, a fictional Chinese priest-astronomer, the illustration includes valuable depictions of contemporary astronomical instruments.

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